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Henry III, better than his father, worse than his son?

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Henry’s reign began inauspiciously. He was crowned on 28 October 1216 in some haste at Gloucester Abbey. The coronation was overseen by the papal legate and Henry was anointed by the bishops of Worcester, Winchester and Exeter; the archbishops of Canterbury and York being unavailable. The royal crown had gone missing and he was crowned with his mother’s circlet. All this in the midst of the Barons’ War caused by his father the “bad” king John. To reinforce his royal authority he had a second coronation in 1220.

 

Henry III's coronation (Cotton Vitellius A. XIII) Wikipedia

Henry III’s coronation (Cotton Vitellius A. XIII) Wikipedia

 

 

“Henry’s capacity to play for very high stakes, and yet lose, was truly remarkable”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His reign was to end just as inauspiciously. His claims to the lost Angevin empire were renounced by the treaty of Paris (1259), factional court fighting and another baronial revolt led to yet another civil war. Though the war was won by Henry the last years of his reign were marred by fears of further rebellion.

The online publication of the Henry III Fine Rolls has opened a new episode in research on Henry as well as the politics, government, local-central relations, law, relations with Wales and Ireland and society in general – an episode well documented in The Growth of Royal Government under Henry III which uses the Rolls to offer new interpretations of the reign.

As well as documenting the above volume, BBIH has a range of references on Henry III. There are specific references on Henry’s minority; his more than conventional piety; his relations with the Jews (his son, Edward I, was to expel all Jews in 1290); and his expensive and overambitious foreign policy including his crusading endeavours.

 

Henry III (Click to enlarge)

Henry III (Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote from S. D. Lloyd The Oxford Companion to British History p. 452

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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